Denmark - Total Employment

Denmark: Total Employment

Mnemonic ETOT.IDNK
Unit Ths. #, SA
Adjustments Seasonally Adjusted
Quarterly 0.84 %
Data 2020 Q4 2,762
2020 Q3 2,739

Series Information

Source Statistics Denmark
Release Labor Force Survey
Frequency Quarterly
Start Date 3/31/1996
End Date 12/31/2020

Denmark: Labor

Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Labor Force 2020 Q4 2,939 2,924 Ths. #, SA Quarterly
Labor Force Employment 2020 Q4 2,762 2,739 Ths. #, SA Quarterly
Primary Industries Employment 2020 Q4 70,133 70,464 #, SA Quarterly
Total Employment 2020 Q4 2,762 2,739 Ths. #, SA Quarterly
Unemployment Dec 2020 125,560 127,595 #, SA Monthly
Unemployment Rate Dec 2020 4.4 4.5 % of Labor Force, SA Monthly
Wage & Salaries 2020 Q4 305,068 300,268 Mil. DKK, SA Quarterly
Secondary Industries Employment 2017 571,618 563,845 # Annual
Tertiary Industries Employment 2017 2,391,884 2,384,010 # Annual
Agriculture Employment 2016 76,578 73,196 # Annual

Release Information

The purpose of the Labour Force Survey (LFS) is giving a description of the labour market status of the population. The LFS gives insight into how many people are employed, unemployed or outside the labour force (economically inactive). The LFS also manages to measure information like how many people are working part time; how many hours men in their 30s or 40s usually work; or how many elderly people outside the labour market would like to have a job. The LFS has been conducted yearly since 1984, and from 1994 the survey has been conducted continuously throughout the year.


The Labour Force Survey is based on a sample and describes the labour market status of the population aged 15-74. The population is classified into employed, unemployed or outside the labour force.

The survey provides detailed data on e.g. hours worked, conditions of employment, job search, and participation in courses and other education. Consequently the survey can, among other things, estimate the number of employed people who work at home regularly; how many self-employed people who work during weekends; or how many people have have a part-time job.


The Labour Force Survey is the most comprehensive continuous survey in Denmark. The interviews are conducted by online interview or telephone. The survey is based on a stratified sample of the population. In drawing the sample administrative resources are used to obtain various background information on the people interviewed. The sample is weighted to measure the entire population in Denmark. From 2017, all the invitation letters to the survey will be sent via E-box.


The Danish Labour Force Survey (LFS) is the contribution to the European LFS and data are delivered quarterly to the European Statistical office.

Labour Force Surveys are carried out in every European country as well as in many other countries around the world following common concepts and guidelines. This makes the Labour Force Survey the best Danish survey for international comparisons on labour market statistics.


The Labor Force Survey (LFS) has a relatively large sample and there are continuous improvements in enumeration methods. This provides reliable statistics for the population's connection to the labor market, although there is uncertainty linked to the selection of the sample and the structure of the non-response.

In Q1 2016, the response rate was exceptionally low, creating greater uncertainty about the figures. Furthermore, web interview (CAWI) has been introduced as a new data collection method. The two factors created breaks in the time series. The breaks are corrected on the main series.


The Labour Force Survey is published quarterly in the series Quarterly, Theme, Europe and Year.

Quarterly data are published 1.5 months after a quarter has ended. Theme is published two months after the end of the quarter and European is published about 3.5 months after the quarter has ended. Year is published 1.5 months after the end of Q4.

The statistics are usually published without delay in relation to the scheduled date.


The Labor Force Survey (LFS) has been conducted since 1994 and tables can be found at StatBank Denmark from 1996 onwards. A new enumeration method has been introduced, where the sources only go back to 2008. The new series therefore only go back to 2008 in comparable form. LFS is made according to the same guidelines in all EU countries and several other countries and is therefore well suited for international comparisons.

Sample size
The survey is conducted quarterly and is based on a sample of the population. Each year 85,000 Danes aged 15-74 years participate

Data collection
The Labor Force Survey is based on telephone interviews and are conducted every day, every week, and all year.

The survey is a rotating panel survey including four waves each quarter. Due to the design respondents participate in the survey several times. During one and a half years respondents participate four times. First in two quarters in a row, then an interval of two quarters and then participations in two quarters again. The purpose is to be able to measure both quarterly and yearly changes of employment and unemployment.

The statistics comprise all unemployed persons insured against unemployment and non-insured persons included in the visitation category 1 and 3 (= available for work), who are claiming cash benefits under the Danish Social Assistance Act and who fulfill the international definition of unemployment. The gross unemployed population is defined as the sum of the registered (net-) unemployed population and persons in activation programs and who are, at the same time, considered to be available for work.

The data sources of the statistics are: The Register for Labor Market (RAM) and direct data reports from the municipalities/STAR concerning the match/visitation category and the scope of activation of recipients claiming social assistance. The statistics on the registered number of net unemployed have been compiled by Statistics Denmark since 1979.

Stratified sampling and weighting
In order to measure unemployment adequately, former unemployed people are selected with a higher probability than others. The sample size consists of approximately one fifth earlier registered unemployed, due to the coherence between people registered as unemployed in an earlier quarter and in the present one. The purpose is to ensure a sufficient number of observations of unemployed people to be able to make proper analysis of them. This stratification is taken into account in the weighting of the results.

Furthermore, in weighting the following distributions are taken into account: gender, age, registered unemployment, income, socio-economic status, education, immigration, region and mobility.

Starting with Q3 2010 the main figures of the Danish LFS are seasonally adjusted. The main figures are: Employed, unemployed and persons outside the labor force, giving the general labour market attachment of the population. The series go back to Q1 1995, and the entire period is used for the seasonal adjustment. The program used is X-12-Arima, and logarithmic transformation is applied on all three series. Only aggregate levels are seasonally adjusted.

In November 2011, the figures were revised from 2007 onwards.

In September 2019, the figures were revised from 2008 onwards.

  • In 2016Q1, there was a break in the data collection method. In addition, prior to 2016 individuals with reearch protection were not interviewed, but starting 2016Q1 this protection has been removed. A series of test of the effect of the removal of research protection shows that it does not seem to have affected the break in labor market participation. The source notes that new data collected by low response rate, changing the method of data collection and change of the population for extracting sample has prompted a significant data breaches. The data break means among other things that the calculated employment is significantly higher in Q1 2016 than in the past, while the number of people that are outside the labor force is significantly lower. There may also be breaks in the data for other variables included in the Labour Force Survey. Apart from the overall availability, users should generally be cautious draw conclusions based on data from 2016Q1, as well as hitsotrical time series. For more information (in Danish) visit:
  • In 2017Q1, there was another break in LFS employment, which was reduced by 50,000 people. Difference in developments in LFS compared to the development in BfL is seen in the seasonally adjusted figures fluctuation within the range of 215,000 - 229,000 people in the period 2010-2015. In 2016, difference was increased to 252,000 people due to a high level of LFS to low response rate. In the first quarter of 2017, the two statements are approximate, but the difference is now 194,000, which is less than in the period before 2016. This indicates that one can not easily compare LFS employment in the first quarter of 2017 with the period before 2016. For more information (in Danish) visit:
  • StatBank Denmark uses NUTS 2 areas for this release
  • For more information, please visit: